Speaking on BT Sport’s post-match coverage of Newcastle United vs Chelsea (21/11/20 12:30PM kick-off), Jermaine Jenas suggested that Joelinton is being played out of position by Steve Bruce.
The Brazilian had another game playing up front where he didn’t find the back of the net.
While he didn’t play badly at all, his lack of scoring threat isn’t exactly what you want from your number nine.
Jenas suggested that he would be better off playing on the wing rather than as a centre-forward.
“The Joelinton thing is just not working, it’s been a year and he’s not looking dangerous, maybe he’s a right-sided player or a left-sided player, but either way, there’s a lot of food for thought there,” Jenas said.
Jenas may be onto something here.
Joelinton has played out wide for Newcastle before, appearing on the left wing five times according to Transfermarkt, but last year he didn’t have a quality striker to work with when he was moved to the wing.
However, with Callum Wilson now through the door at St James’ Park, playing the Brazilian on one of the flanks could be an intriguing option as his link-up play and physical prowess could make him a handful when he isn’t being relied upon to be his side’s main source of goals.
As a £40 million forward, Newcastle need to find a way to utilise Joelinton while not negatively affecting their goalscoring chances, and the way to do that may be to play him in a different role.
Joelinton isn’t a bad player, and there is a role for him to play at the Magpies, but as Jenas says, you can’t rely on him to be your main goalscoring threat, so maybe a move out wide would be best for all parties.